Sociology of the Mentally
Disordered Offender

By Tom Mason & Dave Mercer
June 1999
Pearson Education / Longman
ISBN: 058231741X
208 pages
$82.50 Paper original

In recent years mentally disordered offenders have attracted considerable attention in the media and there has been heated public debate as to the best treatment and prevention of re-offending.

Simultaneously there has been a significant increase in the amount of research, specialist courses and training devoted to this particular, high profile area of mental health care. This is as a result of considerable public pressure to develop effective theory and practice for diagnosing and treating this patient group.

A Sociology of the Mentally Disordered Offender provides a concise, and most importantly, accessible guide to the main theoretical issues from a sociological perspective as a counterbalance to the predominant medical model.

Having established a theoretical framework through the exploration of topics such as the relationship between crime and mental disorder the authors look at the processes by which offenders are referred either to criminal justice or the mental health service system, their subsequent treatment and management, and the problem of re-offending. A final chapter looks at ways in which care and management of these patients may be effectively developed in the future.


1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Overview
3. Relationship Between Criminal Behavior and Mental Disorder
4. The Social Construction of the Dangerous Individual
5. Systems of Services and Structure of Power
6. Service Development: Capture, Contagion and Community
7. Treatment and Management from a Social Perspective
8. Re-offence and Recidivism
9. Conclusion: Contemporary Picture and Future Problems
10. References

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